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FeatureCAM brochure - .PDF file.

Bob Lewis Machine Co is using Delcam’s FeatureCAM feature-based CAM system and two new five-axis machine tools to reduce the delivery time on a challenging aerospace part by approximately 60 per cent.

The CNC programming software being used at Bob Lewis Machine was not able to fully access the capabilities of the new five-axis CNC machines.

A friend in the industry recommended FeatureCAM, saying that automating many aspects of the programming process simplifies the task and makes it much faster. The friend also said that Delcam provided excellent technical support.

Bob Lewis Machine made the decision to purchase FeatureCAM. The company now has six networked computers running FeatureCAM that are used to generate programs for all 16 of its CNC machine centres.

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Key benefits of product application

  • The software has made programming easy, even for complicated parts, for machining on both the new five-axis machines and the existing three-axis equipment.
  • FeatureCAM allows Bob Lewis Machine to take full advantage of its five-axis machines. The company is now able to reduce the number of setups required to machine complex aerospace parts from 10 or 12 to two. This is because both the part and tool can be moved so that the cutter can access the part from nearly any angle.
  • With the software, programmers at Bob Lewis Machine can access every capability of the five-axis machines, including drilling holes at multiple angles in a single setup and machining surfaces at compound angles.
  • The company now saves substantial amounts of time and money that were previously spent building fixtures and changing the part from one fixture to another. Relationships between different features within complex parts can now be held much more closely than in the past by machining them in the same setup.
  • Jeff Lewis, co-president at Bob Lewis Machine, said the use of FeatureCAM and five-axis machining has substantially increased the capabilities of the company. By reducing the number of setups on the typical complex aerospace part, the company has reduced the amount of time required to make that part.

Delcam supplies software and services that help manufacturing companies to maximise their profitability by increasing productivity, improving quality and reducing lead times. The company is the world's largest specialist supplier of computer-aided machining software, with its PowerMILL, FeatureCAM, Partmaker and ArtCAM programs making up the most comprehensive range of CAM systems from any developer.

This broad selection allows Delcam to offer a CAM system capable of machining virtually any product, in any material on any type of equipment. Delcam also develops product design, tooling design and quality control programs. The unique Tribrid Modelling approach to design incorporates solid modelling, surface modelling and triangle modelling in a single program, enabling complete design and reverse engineering projects to be undertaken without transferring data between software.

Delcam's Powerinspect offers fast, reliable comparison of parts, prototypes and tooling against CAD data on all types of inspection equipment and even on machine tools. This versatility has made it the world's leading hardware-independent inspection software. Related programs are available for checking machine tool set-up and part location. Delcam software is used in over 80 countries worldwide by around 40,000 organisations, from large multi-nationals to small sub-contractors, in industries including aerospace, automotive, dental, engineering, footwear, medical and toolmaking.

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